Archive for 'people'

Managing work-based anxiety

While anxiety and stress are quite often inevitable, it can take a severe toll on the state of your mental health and quality of life if not handled properly. In Australia, 1 in 4 people are affected by anxiety, making it more common than some may think.

Those who find they have significant triggers at work should consider making a step by step plan to help identify and combat situations that cause anxiety. Those who experience more general anxiety could consider the following:

  • Sleep well: poor quality or not enough sleep can significantly impact your ability to perform tasks at work. For those who struggle to sleep, don’t consume caffeine after 12 pm, avoid screens 30 minutes prior to going to bed and have a regular bedtime.
  • Know everyone’s name: although seemingly small, those with anxiety can find names particularly hard. Identifying colleagues by name can improve reduce stress when interacting.
  • Ask for help: when you find tasks confusing or difficult, asking for help may seem daunting but the discomfort of asking for clarification is worth it in the long run as it can decrease overall anxiety about responsibilities. Asking for help also communicates to your superiors that you genuinely care about doing a good job.
  • Eat properly: take the time to eat a proper meal at breakfast and lunch as eating not only fuels you for the day, a good diet can also help you to better manage symptoms of mental health.
  • Schedule: learn when during the day you are most productive and tailor your workload to align with personal peaks. When scheduling, though it is important to set honest timeframes for yourself, it is not the end of the world if you fall behind.

You are not legally required to disclose to your employer a mental health condition unless it has the potential to endanger your safety or that of your colleagues. In the event where an employer takes adverse action against their employee on the basis of their mental health, the Fair Work Act 2009 protects employees with mental health problems from unlawful workplace discrimination.

Posted on 9 September '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Effective job advertising

With such a large number of varied job ads online and in print, if you want to attract the best people you have to make your ad stand out. It is also very important to properly convey your workplace culture in the ad so that you do not have to waste time interviewing inappropriate candidates.

Make sure to write ads in a way that clearly reflect the personality of your business and conveys a message to your applicants about the type of person that will suit the role. Getting someone who is a good personality fit for your company is equally as important as getting someone with the right skillset. If your ad is reflective of your company, applicants will be in a better position to judge whether or not they should apply.

Include a detailed list of duties that the role entails and the types of skills and qualifications that you are looking for. A little attention to detail in the description can save you a lot of time when it comes to sorting resumes and interviewing candidates.

To give you job posting high visibility for job seekers, post your listing on multiple online platforms. Advertise the job to a careers page on your website, LinkedIn and job boards like Jora and Seek. You may have to pay for certain job boards so research the site that suits your business’ needs before posting.

Posted on 28 August '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Find the perfect employee for you

Picking the wrong employee after a long interview process ultimately results in wasted time and lost money for a business. There are constantly new ideas emerging about how to best conduct interviews, many of which will be able to give you a much better idea of how a candidate will perform in the role.

Consider graduates:
Hiring recent university graduates is a great way to bring fresh ideas and energy to your business. Having learnt the newest technical skills and the best ways to implement them, graduates are eager to gain experience, giving you the potential to shape their work habits to suit your company. Demonstrating how experience with your organisation will look great on their future CV can also help appeal to graduates with more long term goals.

Re-frame interview questions:
Most interview candidates will have rehearsed their answers to traditional job interview questions, making it hard to get an accurate reading of their abilities. Try using;

  • Fact-based questions: helps the interviewer confirm whether or not the potential candidate has the skills required for the job, as well as provide information that can be cross-checked against their resume to verify accuracy.
  • Situational questions: provides any insight into how the candidate would handle situations that may arise in the business.
  • Behavioural questions: gives insight into how a person may behave, helping to determine whether or not they will work well with others and be a good fit for a business.

Get a second opinion:
Inviting other staff members to sit in on interviews, either as silent observers or active interviewers can give you a second opinion. This also helps to more accurately read a candidate as other people will focus on different qualities or skills that could be valuable to the company’s inner workings.

Posted on 11 August '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Creating a positive work environment

The workplace can be where you spend the majority of your time. Maintaining a positive and healthy environment while at work is therefore critical to your happiness and mental wellbeing. One of the key ways to ensure your workplace is healthy is by having strong relationships with your colleagues. Here are some simple ways you can develop a team-oriented atmosphere and make your time at work more productive and enjoyable.

Social events:
While you may spend a lot of time with your team at work, it would further improve the morale of your workplace to incorporate social events outside of work. Great working teams are those that spend a lot of time together and enjoy each other’s company. When people are engaging together in an activity that isn’t work-related, it can create a more personal and friendly work environment.

Team rituals:
Similar to team social events, incorporating team rituals into the working day can help to create a sense of collaboration and comradery. Having daily or weekly rituals can help people to feel more deeply involved in their working experience. Rituals to celebrate success may include rewarding milestone achievements like the end of a project or a quota reached, or implementing an ‘Employee of the Month’ program. Rituals to build relationships may also benefit your workplace, such as welcoming new employees in a special way, or recognising birthdays and other celebrations.

Posted on 29 July '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Hiring the ‘overqualified’

Motivating employees is a large part of keeping quality standards in the workplace. Managers may be missing out on the ideal hire by eliminating those who are overqualified from consideration. When potentially hiring someone who is overqualified, it pays to look at every aspect of what they could bring to the business.

What makes a candidate overqualified?
People with a higher education level that is required for the job they are applying for are generally what would be considered overqualified. There are also those individuals who have had a number of years experience in the industry that would make a starting position seem like a step down the career ladder.

The Pros:
The overqualified candidate will require less training than those who are inexperienced, saving you time and money not having to train new staff. They could be left unsupervised for longer periods as they will have more industry knowledge to get them through a task and can provide assistance and guidance to other new members of the team.

The Cons:
While overqualified candidates may save you money in regards to training, they may request a higher salary overall. If you advertise a job with a certain pay rate then it is assumed applicants are willing to comply with this, but those who have more experience may want a bit more for their work.

Whichever way you decide to go, it is important not to rule out a candidate simply because they have more knowledge or experience required for the position. Getting to know an individual’s motivation and personality during the interview process will give you a look at what kind of worker they will be, which will be different from the side that shows on paper.

Posted on 14 July '19 by , under people. No Comments.

How to deal with loneliness at work

Feeling isolated while at work is something an increasing number of people experience in their lives. Studies suggest loneliness in the workplace can pose health risks as harmful as obesity or smoking. For both business owners and employees, here are some effective strategies that can help to make you feel less alone.

Encourage face-to-face communication:
Technology can often be to blame for an increased feeling of loneliness among workers. While it does enable greater workplace collaboration and digital connections, it can create the opposite effect when overused. Face-to-face and phone interactions create deeper and more meaningful connections with co-workers. Instead of sending an email or instant message, consider picking up the phone or walking over to your colleague’s desk to talk to them instead.

Cultivate workplace friendships:
Regularly organising social events outside of work can help staff to create more meaningful relationships with each other. This can also break down barriers between an employer and their employees, encouraging company loyalty and a sense of community. Activities you may consider include team lunches, after-work drinks, or group sporting activities. Employees who have more friends at work are more likely to be happier and consequently more productive.

Posted on 27 June '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Defining your audience

Defining your target market is the key to shaping your entire marketing strategy. Knowing who you intend to assist can help to differentiate your business from the competition, tailor your marketing efforts to better meet customer needs and potentially boost sales. Demographics, such as age, gender, income and occupation, do not necessarily provide enough insight into the attributes of your target customer.

Categorising your target market through psychographics uses personality and interests to define your target customer. Psychographics analyses variables such as lifestyle, attitude, values, personality traits, social class, activities and opinions. This explains the “why” element of why your customers want your product. Often closely related to demographics, combining the two forms of data collection can build a complete, sophisticated profile of consumers based on a more detailed picture of who they really are.

Segmenting your target customer through geographics involves considering what continent, country, city or town they may live in. It can also further studies by looking into specific neighbourhoods, the size of that area and even the climate. Geographics require far less personal data and can be performed simply with a map of the area in question. This form of analysis is quite generally so it should be used in conjunction methods.

Behavioural segmentation involves your target customer’s behaviour towards your products or services. This format looks at customers based on what benefits they desire, how often they will use your product or service, loyalty to your brand, readiness to buy your products/services, or if your products/services are used for a specific occasion such as a holiday or an event.

Posted on 17 June '19 by , under people. No Comments.

How to hire the right staff

Finding capable, fitting staff is essential to any successful business. Hiring the right employee can help increase employee productivity, foster a successful employment relationship, and positively impact your business’s overall culture.

Here are a few key points to focus on when looking for new workers:

Look at skills over experience:
People are more than just their resume. A candidate may have experience but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a good fit for your business. Instead, try to match an individual’s skill set with those you need in the role, this can help in determining the best fit.

Ask the right questions in the interview:
A solid interview process is a window for candidates to see how you approach daily work. Planning time for the company mission, questions you want to ask and questions they would like to ask reflects on your business style and gives an idea of what it would be like to work for you. With that in mind, thoughtful interview questions can help you separate the desirable from average.

Always be on the lookout for new talent:
Great companies are always on the lookout for new talent as they know and value the contributions of their staff to the business. Encouraging people to send through their resumes, even when there are no openings, can provide you with a talent pool for when you do need to hire and opportunities to create new roles that can strengthen your business.

Posted on 2 June '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Improving your employees’ wellbeing

Providing a workplace that promotes positive wellbeing for its staff is a key responsibility of all employers. Workplace wellbeing refers to both the physical and mental state of employees. While physical wellbeing covers essential elements such as access to natural daylight and temperature control, mental wellbeing is equally as important.

Smart work design:
A pleasant work environment will lead to positive mental wellbeing for your staff. You may achieve this by establishing flexible working hours, addressing a workplace culture of when, where and how you work. Involve your employees in the decision-making process of how work is performed to ensure that it will work for them.

Mental health awareness:
Talk openly about mental health in your workplace, and provide access to information in the form of brochures or noticeboards. You could participate in initiatives like World Mental Health Day or R U OK? Day to further raise awareness among employees and encourage open discussions about these issues.

Support staff:
The more that your staff feel supported, the more likely they are to be motivated and productive. Create a workplace environment that allows employees to share how they are feeling and any problems that they may encounter through open lines of communication. Employees should feel that they can trust their colleagues and managers, ensuring there is a clear process for managing stress.

Posted on 19 May '19 by , under people. No Comments.

Perks for your employees that you can afford

Supporting your employees doesn’t have to break the bank, as you can provide perks in the form of policies rather than material rewards. Creating a work environment with actionable benefits can increase productivity whilst attracting and retaining skilled employees.

Flexible Work:
An attractive perk that an increasing number of companies offer is flexible work. Small businesses are often in the best position to offer flexible work arrangements, as schedules tailored for the individual can still allow work to get done. This gives employees a healthy work/life balance.

Sometimes employees need time off with short notice or something in their personal lives affects their ability to work. Business owners can make a positive impact on employees that are experiencing problems or hardships. This could be through listening to them and talking them through their approach to work, or providing active support with altered work hours until things have settled down. Looking after an employee in a time of need helps to create a supportive environment that staff are more likely to enjoy working in.

Posted on 5 May '19 by , under people. No Comments.